Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu has announced that Zambia has been elected as the new Chair of the African Group of Negotiators at the on-going 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
Zambia will chair the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) for two years.
The AGN is a group of all 54 African countries that enables the continent to negotiate as one single bloc during climate change negotiations.
Mr. Nzovu expressed happiness at Zambia’s election.
The minister said the election confirms the confidence that African countries have in His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, the New Dawn Government and the country as a whole.
“This success has been made possible through the excellent branding of the Zambian delegation at the COP26 starting with several engagements that His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, and his two ministers undertook before leaving the few technocrats to continue with the work,” Mr. Nzovu said.
“The chairpersonship puts Zambia in the limelight in resolving the climate change crisis. It is a huge responsibility for Zambia especially that the next UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties will be on African soil in Egypt. Therefore, Zambia will be expected to steer the African Countries to highlight the continent’s priorities in the negotiations.”
He assured Zambians and the international community that the country is equal to the task and ready to take up this responsibility and will represent all African states with commitment without living anyone behind.
Mr. Nzovu expressed gratitude to ten Southern African countries that endorsed and presented Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Director of Climate Change and Natural Resources and Zambia’s National Focal Point under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Mr. Ephraim Mwepya Shitima, as the candidate for Zambia.
The minister conveyed his gratitude to everyone that contributed to Zambia’s successful bid for the portfolio of chair at the Conference.
As the continent’s new lead negotiator, Mr. Shitima will take over from Mr. Tanguy Gahouma of Gabon.
The next COP conference in Egypt will be Zambia’s maiden opportunity to preside over the African Group in negotiations.
This is according to a statement issued by Ministry of Green Economy and Environment.